I've read with interest some of Steve's editorials about SQL 2005 SP3 and in large part agree with him that it's hard to believe they are contemplating no additional service packs beyond #2. I think it's easy to react - or over react - to the news mainly because we never had a reason NOT to expect more service packs (SQL2K is at SP4) and clearly they are still fixing things. I also get that they are a business and building service packs costs time & money, and presents a degree of risk (see the SP2 fiasco). Asking customers to voice their opinions that a SP3 is disingenuous, most customers are using the product and either not seeing some of the pain or are just living with it (knowingly or unknowingly). They could ask the MVP's, or PASS members, or any other group and I suspect few would argue against additional service packs, but if you weigh that head count against the total, it's a very small sample and easy to call them a special interest. Maybe they'll change their minds or maybe not, but I think what we consumers should be doing is voicing clearly our expectations:
But the same problem applies - how are we going to get that message to MS? Boycott SQL 2008? Switch to MySQL? Here's a time when I wish PASS would take a stand and push on them, but I don't expect that to happen.
Sort of related has been the news that SQL 2008 has slipped until late this year. Again, Steve and others have commented, and I saw this post from Dan Jones that defends the decision to slip. Here's my take:
As much as the OS, SQL Server needs to be robust. That's job one. But it's not the ONLY job. I make my living on SQL Server right now, like the product, like the people on the SQL team I've met. But I've got to have confidence in you and be able to talk to my customers about your product openly and proudly, or I might have to find a product that does a better job of it. Get out of Redmond, come spend some time with the user groups and regular people - I think you might learn a lot and find that we want you to win.